Darren Doyle, story, photos, and video
It was a bittersweet night for seven ECHS Senior Football players as they wore their blue uniforms one last time at a rainy Wildcat Stadium as they defeated the Hart County Raiders 14-0.
The Wildcats were led by junior running back Daniel Caudill's two touchdowns and 174 total yards. The first quarter looked promising for the Wildcats, but two fumbles cancelled out some big runs for EC. The Cats were able to get more offense going as the second quarter began and Caudill was able to score his first touchdown of the game on a one-yard run. Sophomore Brett Brannon kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
With the half winding down, a nice run by sophomore Zack Farmer put the Cats in great field position and junior Rheece Berkely followed up that play with a fantastic catch on the four yard line with just seconds to go.
Caudill then scored another touchdown with an acrobatic flip over two Hart County defenders into the endzone with 7.5 seconds left in the half. Brannon's extra point attempt was good and the Wildcats led 14-0 at halftime.
Hart County was able to get on a couple of good runs near the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth, but the Wildcat defense was able to keep their composure and snuffed out those opportunities. The rain caused slippery conditions and was a bit of a factor for both teams as the score would remain the same with the Cats on top, 14-0.
Head Coach Kyle Pierce said a win is a win, but saw several missed opportunities. First and foremost, he gave praise to his seniors. "We have seven, solid individuals," he said. "They're all different personalities...quiet guys, outspoken guys, some funny, some stoic, I mean they're just a great group of kids. But they're all the same in terms that they work hard."
He said he knew they could see their moments "winding down" and he was glad they were able to come together and enjoy one more win, their last, at Wildcat Stadium.
When asked about those missed opportunities and turnovers, Pierce was obviously glad for the win, but quickly pointed out that there are things to work on. "It's frustrating, you know? You make great runs, you have good drives, you're in the red zone, your primed and ready to score, but then you make a miscue."
At the end of the night, it was still a win for the Wildcats as they improved to 5-3 overall, but Pierce said you always have to seek out the things that need improvement.
"We're going to work our drills," he said. "You know, we worked on tackling this past week and I thought our tackling was better tonight. This week, we're going to work on ball security and other drills. Hopefully our kids will take it seriously and do a good job with it."
Edmonson County will now look at applying these drills against this week's opponent, Larue County. "I think we match up against them pretty well," Pierce said. "After facing Etown, ranked 3rd in the state, and then Adair, ranked 7th, and we played them back-to-back, it's good to play a team that better matches up with us, but Larue's still a good football team."
Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm central time, 8pm eastern. You can listen to the broadcast live on your new home for the Wildcats on WildcatsLive with Scott and Bryan. They'll be live at 6:40pm central time.